Japan Facts and Stats: Bottas breaks a Suzuka jinx
As Valtteri Bottas secured his sixth career win, helping Mercedes to their sixth straight constructors’ title in the process, we look at the hottest stats and facts from the Japanese Grand Prix.
In 31 runnings of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, nobody had ever won from the second row of the grid – until now. Valtteri Bottas broke that jinx, and ended a win drought stretching back to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
This was Mercedes’ 99th F1 victory, and Bottas’s 100th career points finish. For Lewis Hamilton, it was his eighth podium – five of them victories and three third-place finishes.
READ MORE: Wolff dedicates Mercedes’ sixth straight title to late team mate Niki Lauda
Hamilton’s fastest lap meant that Mercedes took the constructors’ championship, becoming the first team ever to take six consecutive constructors’ titles. Not only that, it’s now mathematically impossible for any driver other than Bottas and Hamilton to take the drivers’ championship, meaning Mercedes have also guaranteed six consecutive drivers’ titles – also a record.
As for Ferrari, they missed their chance of winning at Suzuka for the first time since 2004. However, Sebastian Vettel took his first podium at Suzuka since 2015.
Carlos Sainz bagged his 50th points finish and third top-five of the year, more than he’s achieved for the rest of his career combined. The McLaren driver sits in the top six in the drivers’ championship as Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly – formerly at Red Bull – finished eighth to take his first points haul at Suzuka.
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo managed to finish seventh from 16th (later upgraded to P6 following Charles Leclerc's post-race penalty), but that was only his second points finish in the last seven races. As for team mate Nico Hulkenberg, he managed to finish ninth, his fifth consecutive points finish. That ties his longest points streak with Renault and ends a run of two consecutive retirements at Suzuka.
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